Letters to the Editor

Disaster preparedness

When we experience a disaster in which the hospital, fire, and police are overwhelmed, the public can still lend a hand in an efficient way.

The Volunteer Mobilization Center is activated by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management when a major disaster strikes us. The center can process, assess and send out hundreds of volunteers to assist the disaster survivors in areas they are needed. A volunteer may be removing debris, sand-bagging, providing relief, driving a tractor, telephoning, or any number of jobs. No special skills are required. What a person does need is a sincere desire to help their community recover from a disaster.

In the past nine months, a group of dedicated volunteers have given their time to make sure the Volunteer Mobilization Center is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the nation. I would like to thank those who have worked tirelessly on setting it up. I extend a sincere thank you to: Dave Evans; Dirk and Kathy Vermeeren; Don Diebert; Gayle Shipley; Lynn Bellinger; Mike Gantenbein; Pam Melton; Pat Lynam; Scott Sutherland; Terri Temple; Valerie Randolph; and Wes Weston. These individuals have given hundreds of hours to the center. It is this dedication and unwavering persistence that makes Whatcom County such a great place to live. More volunteers are needed, go to WhatcomVolunteer.org/Disaster for information.

Mel Monkelis, Bellingham

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